206 endorsement received, Spain leading

We received 206 endorsements so far. Here’s the division by country. While some said that this exercise was too UK-centric, in reality Spain and Netherland are far more active. Needless to say, we need many more endorsement, at least 2000! Hopefully now that we have the translated version it will be easier – Jens just provided us with the German translation!

ES    73
NL    28
IT    25
GR    20
UK    14
BE    8
DE    8
Other    7
FI    5
AT    4
FR    3
DK    2
IE    2
PT    2
SE    2
HU    1
LU    1
RO    1

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Translating the Open Declaration: now available in Greek Catalan and Spanish

We asked for help, and help arrived. We asked 2 days ago you to translate the declaration in other EU language, and we now have it in Catalan, Greek and Spanish. Thanks a lot to Alexander Kidonakis, Damià Casas, Diego and Serafí Pujol,

We look forward to receiving translations in other languages so that it will be easier to receive endorsements from all over Europe.

And after you translate it, please invite people in your country to endorse the declaration.

Open Declaration is published. Now let’s endorse it!

Here is final version of the open declaration. Now let’s get as many people as possible to ENDORSE it!

endorse

We all did a great job together to make it comprehensive and meaningful. But we’re not done!!!

We now need as many people as possible to endorse it. Please visit the dedicated website and register your endorsement. Help us spreading the word and get as many friends as possible to endorse it.

We have one month to collect thousands of endorsement and make EU government listen to it!

‘Reusing, remixing and building on’: the importance of making data legally open

One of the main aims of the Open Declaration on Public Services in the European Union is to encourage innovation with European public services and to allow citizens to play a greater role in public service provision. European public services can be improved by encouraging the public at large to build on them, to make them better. At the Open Knowledge Foundation we call this idea the Many Minds Principle, which says, more or less, that:

The Coolest Thing To Do With Your Data Will Be Thought of By Someone Else

By allowing more people to re-use your material – you increase the probability that someone will come up with something really compelling. For example, Hans Rosling’s Gapminder takes public statistics about international development and makes them easy and intuitive to explore using his beautiful interactive graphics and video presentations. MySociety‘s They Work For You site collates and analyses parliamentary transcripts allowing anyone to easily see the voting record and speeches of any UK member of parliament – as well as receive email notifications every time they speak in parliament. Both of these sites depend on being able to re-use the raw content and data published by public bodies.

As it says in the declaration:

We want the whole spectrum of government information from draft legislation to budget data to be easy for citizens to access, understand, reuse, and remix.

In order to re-use this material, citizens have to have the legal right to do so. Public bodies can allow and encourage the re-use of their material by using a license or legal tool that is compliant with the Open Knowledge Definition to make their content and data open. In this sense transparency – or just putting things online – is not enough. Citizens need to be granted the right to re-use.

European governments are already under an obligation to open up their holdings under European Council Directive 2003/98/EC, “on the re-use of public sector information”. The declaration on public services 2.0 should help to push for real openness, not just accessibility on a website – to help the next generation of web services, for citizens by citizens, flourish.

Furthermore where data is being used to provide public web services, citizens should be allowed to access and re-use data directly in raw form. Rather than just allowing access via web interface, an API or a value added service, official bodies should allow data to be downloaded directly, in bulk, in a format which allows it to be re-used easily. As Open Knowledge Foundation Director Rufus Pollock wrote in 2007 (echoed by Tim Berners-Lee at TED):

We want the data raw, and we want the data now!

Last day to comment the draft declaration

We will close the comments to the draft Open Declaration at the end of Tuesday 13th. Please let us have your views by then.

We will then post the open declaration final version here and will illustrate how you can disseminate and endorse it.

Thanks!

Malmo programme is out and Open Declaration is in!

The draft programme for the Malmo Ministerial conference has just been published. As you will see, Paul and I are in the programme on Friday at 10 am, to present the Open Declaration. We will act as messengers for all of you who are participating to this initiative.

Thanks for your participation, which made this happen!

But we’re far from finishing… now let’s polish up the declaration, and write a good supporting document. Most of all, let’s spread the word to obtain the endorsement of thousands of us.

More details on how to endorse the declaration later this week.

Good discussion on the declaration

We are having very good comments on the declaration. Please join the conversation and tell us what you like and dislike.

If you have specific points to add, you can directly write them on the supporting document

During next week we close the comments and go public for the large-scale endorsement.

Thanks again for your support.